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Artists Biography

Virgil Ross

American 1907–1996
Virgil Walter Ross was born on 08 August 1907 and was an American cartoonist, artist and animator. Best known for his work on the Warner Brothers animated shorts; he also produced work for Walter Lantz and Hanna-Barbera.

After starting out drawing title cards for silent movies, Ross spent most of his career at Warner Bros. working on its Academy Award-winning ‘Looney Tunes’ cartoons. He helped create Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam.

Among the cartoons Ross helped to create were Bugs Bunny’s first Oscar-nominated short, ‘A Wild Hare’ and four Oscar winners: ‘Tweety Pie’, ‘Speedy Gonzales’, ‘Birds Anonymous’ and ‘Knighty Knight Bugs’.

In 1979 he animated Woody Woodpecker for a special scene at the 51st Academy Awards.

In the interview of Ross, published in Animato Magazine #19, Virgil recalls how the character of Bugs Bunny came to be. He says in the interview: “We received orders from the story department that they needed a drawing of a bunny. We all did drawings and tacked them on the wall, and the storymen voted on them. We had one writer named Bugs Hardaway, and for some reason, this one drawing became known as Bugs’ Bunny. Leon Schlesinger liked the sound of the name and told them to keep it, and that's how Bugs Bunny got his name”.

Virgil Ross received the highest awards available in his profession: the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Golden Award (1984) and the Winsor McCay Award (1988).

He died on 15 May 1996 in Los Angeles.

Works by this artist…

  • Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam
    Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam
    ( ref : 15563 )
  • Foghorn Leghorn and Barnyard Dawg
    Foghorn Leghorn and Barnyard Dawg
    ( ref : 15565 )
  • Elmer Fudd, Humphrey Bogart and Bugs
    Elmer Fudd, Humphrey Bogart and Bugs
    ( ref : 15562 )
  • Egghead
    ( ref : 15564 )
  • Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam
    Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam
    ( ref : 15560 )
  • Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian
    Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian
    ( ref : 15561 )
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